Expanding Economic Opportunities in Industry
Introduction Industrialization is key to sustaining robust economic growth. Thus, the Industry sector, which makes possible the creation of value-added products, needs to be developed. While it shared the biggest contribution to the regional economy, and is seen to continue to be a growth driver, it exhibited an erratic growth trend in the previous years. Thus, the growth of the sector needs to be sustained and be made more inclusive, that is, by forging stronger linkages to the primary and resourcebased sectors (i.e. A&F), and by adopting industry clustering to promote commodity development, broaden access to markets, and improve production efficiencies. As the ASEAN integration comes to full swing, improving the sector’s productivity and competitiveness becomes more crucial. While labor productivity in the Industry sector is the highest compared to the other economic sectors, total employment, in contrast, is relatively the lowest (see Chapter 5). As such, the dispersion and diversification of industries is also envisaged to increase employment, especially one that promotes the labor force participation of the marginalized sector, including women, in light processing activities and other enterprises.
Assessment Growth Trend The growth performance of the Industry sector was below the Plan target in the last five years except in 2013 (Figure 1). The Gross Value Added (GVA) of the Industry sector was seen to be heavily dependent on the performance of the manufacturing subsector, especially on the predominantly heavy industry hub in the Leyte Industrial Development Estate (LIDE). The LIDE is the only Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)registered manufacturing economic zone in the region. Located in Isabel, Leyte, it hosts the Philippine Associate Smelting and Refining Corporation (PASAR) and the Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corporation (PHILPHOS). PASAR is the only copper smelting plant in the country and produces electrolytic copper cathodes while PHILPHOS produces phosphatic fertilizer. Such correlation was observed in 2012, when the tremendous decline in the production of basic metals (caused by the temporary production stoppage in PASAR resulting from an industrial fire) pulled down the growth of the Industry sector to negative 18.5 percent, a sharp reversal from the 1.7 percent growth in 2011. In 2014, value-added growth plunged to negative 3.3 percent due to the production decline at the LIDE due to the damage brought about by Yolanda in 2013. Consequently, Eastern Visayas was the only region in the country that displayed contraction in its industrial value by about seven percent from 2011 to 2015.
Source of basic data: PSA VIII, EV RDIP 2011-2016 and Updated RDP 2014-2016
Investments Investments in the country from 2014 to 2015 largely accumulated in Region IV-A (CALABARZON), National Capital Region (NCR), and Central Luzon. For the same period, Eastern Visayas shared only a meager 0.2 percent to the total approved investments of the country. Investments in the region, measured by the total amount of projects registered in the Board of Investments, reached PhP13.03 billion from 2012 to 2016. The aggregated investment approvals over the period were generated from 16 projects in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) sector, and in the utilities, manufacturing, real estate, and logistics subsectors. More than 88 percent of the said investments were intended to finance projects in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply subsector, which indicates the potential of the region as a source of renewable energy
Source: BOI Cebu Note: Covers BOI-approved investments only
(Figure 2). The biggest amount of investments came in 2015 with the approval of three energy-related projects. The Manufacturing subsector received the second highest amount of investments for the five-year period at 6.2 percent to the total. The value of investments doubled to PhP554.7 million in 2016 from PhP202.2 million in 2012. On the other hand, real estate activities posted an investment share of 2.5 percent to the total. Projects related to AFF and transportation and storage received a relatively lower investment worth PhP221.5 million and PhP152.7 million or a share of 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent to the total, respectively. These investments generated a total of 390 jobs. Manufacturing The bulk of the manufacturing output in the region comes from PASAR and PHILPHOS. Exports from these two large companies made up almost 83 percent of the total exports from 2011 to 2015. Copper cathodes contributed around 74 percent or roughly USD3 billion compared to only 6.2 percent from mineral/chemical fertilizers. China, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia were the leading importers of the region’s produce. Exports from the LIDE declined from 2011 to 2015. In 2015, the value of cathode exports was 74 percent lower than in 2011. The economic turmoil in China, which started in 2014, brought down demand for the region’s products. The region’s imports, mostly comprised of raw materials for the production of copper cathodes, were sourced out from China, Australia, and Indonesia. Similarly, exports of mineral fertilizers went down by 14 percent in 2015 from its value in 2011 due to the stoppage of operation of PHILPHOS after having been heavily affected by Yolanda. In agribusiness, major exports of the region included coconut and abaca. The region used to have eight coconut oil mills with an estimated rated capacity of 451,200 metric tons per year. Three oil mills remain non-operational after having been badly hit by Yolanda. In addition, the region had eight operational decorticating plants with a rated capacity of 100,000 husks per day. Some decorticating facilities in the region have either stopped or have been operating intermittently because of defective decorticating equipment, lack of access to three-phase electrical power, among other factors. The export of copra by-products in the region, particularly refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) oil, managed to increase to USD9.7 million in 2015 despite Yolanda’s damage to 33 million coconut trees. On the other hand, the export of virgin coconut oil (VCO), amounting to USD8.2 million, was lower than its production value in the previous year. Japan was the major importer of the region’s coconut products in
2014, accounting for 24.7 percent. Vino de Coco, a producer of coconut wine from coconut sap, had a maximum capacity of 1,875 cases of coconut wine per month but production had been limited to only 400 -500 cases of 750 ml bottles due to limited supply of inputs in the aftermath of Yolanda. Coco geonets made from coconut coir showed an increasing demand due to its use in slope protection and erosion control. No data, however, is available on the production of geonets in the region for the past years. The region also has two abaca processing plants in Leyte. Exports of abaca pulp recorded a decline in 2015 from the previous year. Amounting to $14.8 million, it decreased by 33 percent from the year before. Compared to the country’s export earnings from abaca pulp amounting to $79.4 million, the region’s contribution was high at 18.6 percent. Top export destinations include United States of America, United Kingdom and China. Other agri-based products in the region include banana chips, dried jackfruit, dairy milk, coco-based products, such as coconut flour, coconut chips and copra cake and meal, among others. Construction The Construction subsector grew unsteadily from 2011 to 2015. From a contraction of 17.3 percent in 2011, the subsector rebounded in 2012 with a 31.8 percent growth. The robust performance was largely due to the 15.7 percent increase in the value of new private constructions amounting to PhP3.9 billion, and the implementation of as well as full and advanced releases of funds for government infrastructure projects. For the said period, the region had the highest growth in the Construction subsector nationwide. Due to the stricter rules imposed on real estate lending and the tightening of mass housing incentives by the Board of Investments (BOI), growth in 2013 decelerated to 9.2 percent. In 2014, the Construction subsector tripled its growth from that of 2013, bouncing back to 27.4 percent as a result of the massive Yolanda reconstruction efforts. In 2015, however, construction activities slowed down. In terms of private building construction in 2013, Leyte and Southern Leyte shared the bulk of construction projects in the region at 59.3 and 16.4 percent, respectively. Eastern Visayas had a 1.64 percent share to the 120,775 construction projects implemented in the country in 2013. Still in 2013, non-residential buildings comprised the bulk of the private building construction in the region amounting to PhP1.4 billion, which was lower by 14.6 year-
on-year. In terms of employment, the number of employed persons in the Construction subsector was 80,608 in 2013, accounting for 4.4 percent of the total employment in the Industry sector. Mining and Quarrying The share of Eastern Visayas to the country’s mining and quarrying GVA remains low. The Mining subsector’s contribution to economic growth in the region was also less, which averaged 0.2 percent for the period 2011 to 2015. Nonetheless, the region is endowed with mineral resources such as nickel, bauxite, copper, gold, manganese, magnetite sand, iron, cobalt, chromite, limestone, and sand and gravel. About three percent of the region’s total land area is covered by approved mining rights, less than 0.5 percent of which are occupied with operating mines, equivalent to 9,945.28 hectares. The volume and value of mineral production has been declining over the five-year period. Production value of magnetite concentrate suffered a 97 percent decline from a hefty growth in 2011. Chromite production showed a steady growth from 2011 to 2014 but slowed down in 2015. Mineral production was generally affected by the issuance of Executive Order No. 79, which resulted in the suspension of some mining companies. The moratorium on the issuance of Ore Transport Permit (OTP) and Mineral Ore Export Permit (MOEP) likewise pulled down magnetite production. In the case of non-metallic production, sand and gravel extraction escalated in 2014 because of massive physical reconstruction after Yolanda. On the other hand, production of hydrated lime tapered down, registering a 78 percent reduction from its high growth in 2013. Excise tax raked in PhP33.2 million over the period 2011 to 2015 while PhP77.01 million was collected from mining fees and charges. Out of the total fees and charges, almost half came from occupation fees and around 40 percent from extraction fees. The rational management of the region's mineral resources and hazard assessment and mapping were undertaken based on current mining laws and the need for safe and resilient communities. The Mining subsector has always been perceived to bring adverse effects to the environment. Thus, the government strictly monitored mining activities to ensure their conformity to environmental laws. Monitoring activities on the environmental work programs of mining companies as well as the safety, health, environment and social programs were conducted for the past three years. Contracts/ permits were also monitored relative to compliance with the approved work program of the mining companies and sand and gravel permittees.
In 2013, a total of 40 contracts/permits were monitored. These included 19 Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA), six Exploration Permits (EPs), and 15 Industrial Sand and Gravel Permits (ISAGPs). Environmental monitoring activities were conducted quarterly, such as on the mining forest of mining companies in support of the National Greening Program. In 2014, a total of 40 permits/contracts were also monitored, which included 18 MPSAs, five EPs, and 17 ISAGPs. On the other hand, 23 mining-related complaints/conflicts were investigated. Business Establishments The number of establishments in the region grew by 50 percent from 2011 to 2014. The region recorded a total of 27,597 establishments in 2014, representing a 0.5 percent increase year-on-year. Ninety-nine percent of these were micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) while only 0.1 percent were large enterprises. Majority (51%) of the MSMEs were in the wholesale and retail trade, and repair of motor vehicles and motorcycle industries, followed far behind by manufacturing (14.2%). Of the MSMEs in the country, 97 percent were concentrated in the NCR, CALABARZON and Central Luzon. Hence, only three percent were located in Eastern Visayas. Half of the region’s MSMEs were in the province of Leyte. The MSMEs generated more jobs compared to large enterprises in the region. In 2014, MSMEs generated a total of 115,211 jobs, higher than the 12,329 jobs generated by large enterprises. This denotes that MSMEs contributed almost 90 percent of the total jobs generated by all types of business establishments that year. However, this was 12.29 percent lower than the 2012 figure of 131,359 jobs. The year 2013 has been a difficult one due to the onslaught of Yolanda. A total of 13,312 MSMEs have been affected by the typhoon, majority of which were micro, with eight percent small and medium enterprises. Despite this, the MSMEs managed to go back to business as manifested by the triple-digit growth in the number of MSMEs developed and assisted by the government in 2014. Along with other development donors, the Small Business Corporation, the DTI’s partner lending arm, granted small enterprise development financing to the MSMEs in Yolanda-affected areas. Hence, employment generated by MSMEs in 2013 and 2014 exceeded Plan targets. In 2015, there was a total of 18 Go Negosyo Centers established in all provinces of the region, mostly in Leyte to facilitate MSMEs’ access to services such as business advisory, business information and advocacy, and business registration assistance. Domestic sales from MSMEs increased to PhP350.7 million in 2015 from PhP293.2 million in 2011. Such growth was attributed to the continued assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) VIII in product development, branding, and market promotion. The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) VIII also helped
the MSMEs through the Small and Medium Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) Innovation System Support, Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEx), Comprehensive Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE), Cleaner Production Technology (CPT), Energy Audit (EA), and Food Safety (FS). Ease of Doing Business The government, in its effort to simplify processes and make the environment business-friendly, introduced reforms at the LGU level. The process requires adopting a unified form, reducing the number of signatories, limiting the number of steps in securing permits and licenses, reducing processing time, thereby expediting issuance of permits and licenses. The ease of doing business in the region has improved on account of streamlined business permits and licensing systems (BPLS). From a record of only 77 LGUs that streamlined their BPLS in 2012, all 143 LGUs, as of 2015, were already able to streamline the said system. Such streamlining led to improved efficiency in registering businesses, hence, Business Name Registration reached 11,230 in 2015 – 20 percent higher than 2011 and 15 percent over the Plan target. This may also have been due to renewed commitment among entrepreneurs to restore operations after Yolanda, as well as opening of new establishments. The region’s economic infrastructure, however, must be improved to support BPLS streamlining. The lack of or slow internet connectivity is still a setback in the next phase of the project, which is automation. In reducing the processing time, the computer-based BPLS must be fully integrated. To name a few, only the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc and Baybay have computer-based BPLS. The computer-based BPLS will provide faster and systematic process for registering and renewing the business permits and licenses, and fast and efficient information on billing and processing of payment and taxes and fees. The Philippine Business Registry (PBR) is another government-initiated project that needs upgrading through infrastructure. It is a web-based system that serves as a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs who need to transact with several agencies before starting a business. Each agency’s computerized registration system is linked to the PBR, thus, the applicant need not physically go to several agencies for registration, such as DTI, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Securities and Exchange Commission, Cooperative Development Authority, Social Security System, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, LGUs and other permit/license-issuing agencies. In terms of physical infrastructure, some government agencies have already set up satellite offices to cater to the needs of the business sector. Clear policies on areas of investments, as well as corresponding incentive mechanism,
are needed. Except for some cities, majority of the LGUs in the region have not formulated and/or adopted their Local Investment Incentives Code (LIIC), an important indication of their readiness to attract would-be investors. Also, almost all LGUs do not have ready industry data needed for industry development. On top of the absent LIICs, most LGUs also do not have updated Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), another important reference document that defines areas for business establishment, among others. In general, doing business in Eastern Visayas is not yet competitive enough vis-à-vis other established investment destinations, such as Davao and CALABARZON. For instance, despite the presence of a major source of abundant electricity, recent data showed that the region has the second most expensive average power rate in the country at PhP6.31/kWh, next to Western Visayas. In fact, Visayas has the highest cost of electricity among the three island groups in the country (see Chapter 14). On top of this, there are still some areas with unreliable power supply (power outages). Although large industries located in special economic zones are given preferential rates since they are directly connected to the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), the high cost of petroleum product is said to affect logistics of these industries. Physical connectivity is another concern since other infrastructure facilities, such as road networks and seaports, are not yet fully developed in the region, especially those that will link remote areas.
Summary of Challenges and Opportunities 1. Lack of investments Investments pouring into the region has been limited. The lack of necessary infrastructure, high cost of support utilities, inadequate skilled human resource base, and weak business environment are some factors that hinder investment. Efforts in providing a business-friendly climate should be scaled up. There is still weak adoption of government-initiated procedures and processes by the LGUs. The infrastructure support in establishing said systems and procedures (i.e. BPLS, PBR, etc.) must be given priority. Many LGUs have yet to establish mechanisms needed to attract investments, such as the LIIC and the CLUP and the accompanying zoning ordinance. Improvement of the business climate and expected increased investments on public and private construction will help sustain the growth of the Industry sector. The proposed lifting of limitations on foreign equity participation in certain economic activities, a move supportive of economic liberalization, is seen to increase investments. Maintaining good trade relations and developing trade with other countries will likely result in positive growth of the sector. The Manufacturing
Resurgence Program of the government is also expected to drive industry growth. The strict implementation of the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 or EO 79 will also draw in more revenues on top of the sustainable management of the environment. 2. Inadequate and poor infrastructure support and costly service facilities Many infrastructure facilities in the region are not yet fully developed, hence must be upgraded. These include roads, ports and airports. The high cost of power supply and the lack of a reliable internet connectivity also impede the productivity of the existing industries. Improving this would encourage more economic activities in the region. There is opportunity seen in the move to harmonize infrastructure development, in terms of physical connectivity, with industrial development. The DTI and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to create and implement a Convergence Program to be called Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL IT) Program. Through the program, road networks leading to manufacturing areas or clusters shall be developed. 3. Limited competitive agri-based products The changing market demand necessitates competitive and globally-accepted products. Despite the presence of champions in agribusiness, majority of the processors in the region are faced with unstable supply of raw materials due to a number of factors such as high vulnerability of the A&F sector to climate change and disasters, incidence of diseases (e.g. bunchy top virus affecting abaca industry), and other factors that hamper productivity (see Chapter 7). In particular to the coconut industry, there were also reports on the smuggling of matured coconuts and rampant cutting of coconut trees which could further reduce the supply of coconuts to agro-industries in the region. Other challenges confronting agribusiness players in the region include low quality products, limited knowledge on product development and diversification, low availment of credit due to stringent documentary requirements, limited coordination among producers, and weak market access. Making the industries globally competitive is a major challenge that will require strong support from the both government and private stakeholders. 4. High dependence on the heavy industry hub Industrial growth, as well as external trade, is dependent on the performance of heavy industries located at the LIDE. This is expected as LIDE’s production is concentrated on copper cathodes and chemical and mineral fertilizers, the valueadded of which are relatively higher than those from services and agri-based
industries. However, the production was limited on these, such that no new products were produced in large scale from the said economic zone since its establishment in 1979. Diversification of industries is seen to lessen vulnerability to external shocks, such as natural hazards (e.g. typhoons) and economic risks (e.g. sluggish international demand). Development of economic zones, especially those that strengthen valueadding activities by linking with resource-based sectors (i.e. A&F) and attract more investments, will also spread out industries and foster efficient domestic supply chain in the region.
Strategic Framework With the overall goal to diversify industries and produce high-value added products out of raw inputs, the region shall endeavour to enhance the competitiveness and productivity of the Industry sector. Towards this end, the sector outcome shall anchor primarily on the Manufacturing subsector as one of the region’s key priority thrusts. Manufacturing is critical in strengthening backward and forward linkages – to catalyse rural development. Investments are a requisite to improve the Manufacturing subsector. Thus, the region shall ensure better governance and policy environment to improve investment climate; scale up productive capacity to meet growing demand across sectors; promote innovation to improve production efficiencies and maximize potential for growth; and continuously widen access to markets where the region has the best advantage to compete with to make sure that all producers, primarily in the resource-based and manufacturing industries, are integrated in the supply chain. This will bode well for the attainment of the regional goal on poverty reduction and inequality-reducing growth as labor productivity and incomes increase.
Figure 29. Strategic Framework for Industry
Eastern Visayas in 2040: A resilient and prosperous region where people enjoy equitable socioeconomic opportunities for and benefits of sustainable human development
Long-term National Vision
MATATAG, MAGINHAWA AT PANATAG NA BUHAY
Medium-term National Societal Goal
TO LAY DOWN THE FOUNDATION FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH, A HIGH –TRUST AND RESILIENT SOCIETY, AND A GLOBALLY– COMPETITIVE KNOWLEDGE ECONOMY
Robust and Sustained Economic Growth
Reduced Poverty and Inequality in All Dimensions
Productive and Competitive Industry Sector Achieved Priority Thrust: Expanded and Diversified Manufacturing Subsector
Business Climate Improved
Productivity and Innovative Capacity Enhanced
Market Access Expanded
Ensure enabling environment for doing business
Conduct aggressive investment promotion
Promote rural industrialization that fosters strong value chain linkages Promote human resource development Adopt technology and increase access to facilities Strengthen resiliency of industries to risks Promote green growth in the context of industrial development
Targets Targets have been set for selected key indicators to monitor the attainment of the sector and subsector outcome/s covered in this chapter. These are reflected in table _ below. A complete and more detailed presentation of the targets are found in the Results Matrices (RM) 20172022, a companion document of this RDP. Table 1. Targets for Industry, Eastern Visayas, 2017-2022 INDICATOR Industry real growth rate, (%)
ANNUAL PLAN TARGETS
Manufacturing industry output, (billion pesos)
Labor productivity in the industry, (pesos per worker)
517,877 521,317 525,780
Employment generated in the industry sector, (number)
128,448 134,870 141,613
MSMEs jobs created annually, (number)
Total approved investments, (million pesos)
Merchandise exports, (million dollars)
Domestic sales of MSMEs, (million pesos)
Location quotient (in terms of industrial revival)
Manufacturing Economic Zone
Industry output, (billion pesos)
Agro-Industrial Zone New economic zones developed, (number)
Manufacturing Economic Zone Agro-Industrial Zone
Percentage of LGUs with streamlined BPLS
Excise tax from sustainable mining activities, (million pesos)
Strategies The following are the strategies to achieve the outcomes outlined above and the corresponding targets set. These are broad strokes on how to realize the regional vision, goals and thrusts. 1. Ensure enabling environment for doing business a.
Improve governance Simplifying business procedures to reduce the cost of doing business will continue to be pursued, especially in the identified growth centers of the region (see Chapter 3). All LGUs will be enjoined to adopt computer-based BPLS for faster processing of business permits and licences. Setting-up Go Negosyo Centers in all provinces, cities and municipalities with the assistance of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council will be aggressively done. An incentive mechanism will be promoted to attract would-be investors and expand the development of the existing economic zones. The LGUs shall be enjoined to formulate their respective LIICs as an instrument to attract investments. Initiatives to review reforms and related laws for a more business-responsive environment, both at the national and local levels, shall be pushed. For instance, policies meant to encourage healthy market competition, which shall be contained in the National Competition Policy framework, will also pave the way to encourage competitiveness of products and services (see Chapter 6). The formulation and updating of CLUPs should be conducted to rationalize land use (e.g. location of industries) at the LGU level. Equally important as well is the adoption and enforcement of a zoning ordinance.
Provide adequate and quality infrastructure and logistics support Equally important for the development of the Industry sector is the presence of quality and adequate infrastructure and logistics facilities (see Chapter 14). Infrastructure development and the provision of adequate utilities (power and water supply, internet connectivity) will facilitate efficient and effective supply chain management from the procurement of inputs to the export of outputs. These should be improved to ensure that there will be an efficient flow of commodities and supplies to facilitate rural industrialization. There is also a need to put in place a resilient and state-of-the-art regional airport and improve other airports in the region, as well as develop a modern transshipment hub (e.g. Babatngon Port).
The government must ensure alignment of infrastructure with the needs of the local industries. Infrastructure projects in the identified priority economic and manufacturing zones shall be implemented. 2. Promote rural industrialization that fosters strong value chain linkages a.
Adopt and intensify industry clustering In order for economic growth to be inclusive, industries will be encouraged to expand and locate in areas conducive for economic activities based on development prospects, as well as the presence of support elements that include abundant supply of inputs, available manpower, accessible infrastructure and logistics. A locational perspective in investment promotion shall be pursued by anchoring on the long-term spatial strategy to support the development of the identified agribusiness and fishery development areas proposed in the VSDF or other potential areas feasible for industrial development (e.g. areas closer to growth centers) that may be identified within the medium term. Industry clustering as the overall strategy will be adopted to step up commodity development, facilitate linkage between agriculture and industry, maximize economies of scale, and increase value-added products. Existing economic zones must be developed by increasing the number of locators to diversify into other manufacturing activities (Figure 3). Similarly, there is also a need for expansion by identifying other zones for development to increase investments, as well as exploring the feasibility of establishing other industries (e.g. steel) that could tap and optimize available resources. The DTI-BOI Manufacturing Resurgence Program aimed at reviving and strengthening the manufacturing subsector will be pursued. The region is uniquely identified as the champion for the country’s copper industry roadmap, which is part of the national government’s move to localize industry roadmaps. The realization of this will be led by PASAR as the key player in the copper industry landscape. The country envisions a fully integrated copper industry from mining to manufacturing by 2030. Supportive of this vision is the development of a copper industry value chain, with the establishment of downstream copper industries (e.g. copper wires) in the region. As such, the Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ), as a green domestic manufacturing zone, shall be pursued as a crucial component in the full integration of the copper industry. The establishment of the LEIZ is also seen to reduce power and logistics costs. On top of the accommodation of copper
downstream industry at the LIDE or in Western Leyte, components of the LEIZ will also include development of a medium manufacturing zone in Isabel and Merida, Leyte, and revival of the previously identified economic zone in Northern Leyte – the Eastern Visayas Regional Growth Center (EVRGC) in Tacloban City – to host light manufacturing activities, with Palompon and Ormoc providing residential and commercial needs. In particular, the revival of the EVRGC, or a proposal for a similar center in Tacloban City, is desired due to proximity to a booming urban area, especially in light of the Tacloban North Permanent Resettlement Sites (supported by the Tacloban North Economic Framework), and in anticipation of logistics network development. Multi-institutional support to this endeavour shall be provided to ensure that needed infrastructure, logistics and personnel are made available. There is also a need to push for the redevelopment of the Amihan Woodlands Township, which also remains non-operational. After all, the Amihan Township was declared as a Special Economic Zone through Presidential Proclamation No. 247 signed by then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The said economic zone is situated in the third district of Leyte where rural poverty is still present and could serve as the nexus of countryside development in the area. There will also be continued preparation of agribusiness and manufacturing development roadmaps to identify sector-specific or industry-focused strategies to enhance the competitiveness of industries in the region. Market -driven and priority commodities to be pursued include, other than copper, coco coir, garments, coffee, cacao, banana, abaca, pili nuts, ginger, pineapple, jackfruit, bangus, mussel, seaweeds, and crabs. Industry development councils will also be strengthened for greater collaboration among the various stakeholders, which is seen to provide institutional support to commodity development and engender wider access to markets.
Figure 30. Existing PEZA Economic Zones, Eastern Visayas
Promote MSME development While the region is aiming at attracting large investments, it shall also push for the development of MSMEs. It is through MSMEs that entrepreneurship is fostered, monopsony is minimized, and small producers are empowered. MSMEs and big companies could also forge partnerships to strengthen supply chain. However, barriers like low access to finance, technology and skills, and information gaps and difficulties in product quality and marketing must be addressed for MSMEs to substantially generate increased employment and higher incomes. There shall be sustained support to MSMEs in various forms. Technical assistance that will be given may vary depending on the needs of MSMEs. Start-up enterprises could avail of trainings on business registration procedures, managerial skills, customer relations management, costing and pricing and market information. Existing MSMEs could choose from a more advanced trainings such as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Total Quality Management, basics on exporting, trade fairs participation, among others. Support to product development through enhanced packaging and labeling will result in better marketing of the priority products in the region, especially in the face of tight competition as markets are becoming highly integrated both at the domestic and international levels. Equally important is the updating of product quality to international standards through ISO accreditation. To strengthen access to finance, the MSMEs will be provided with reasonable and affordable cost of obtaining loans through a simplified and streamlined procedure. The provision of Shared Service Facility (SSF), and the implementation of SET-UP, among other related projects, will be continued in the region to improve the productivity of MSMEs. The establishment of more Go Negosyo Centers is also envisaged to efficiently cater to the needs of the MSMEs in the region.
Promote and strengthen clusters of producers Strong value chain linkages require sustainable supply of inputs. Hence, there is a need to strengthen existing organizations of producers (e.g. agrarian reform beneficiary organizations) and cluster the fragmented ones through the promotion of cooperativism, and other means of clustering through block farming, among others (see Chapter 7). This is especially crucial to scale up production volume of priority commodities in the region, and further sustain the industry clustering strategy mentioned above. The region could learn from
the success stories of organized clusters in Mindanao and Luzon, which put them in a better position to penetrate new and big markets and meet increasing consumer demand. 3. Conduct aggressive investment promotion Conducting trade promotion activities with local and international business groups will be continued to enhance trade and investments. Investment fora, trade expo, trade fairs and product development and branding will be conducted aggressively. Quad media (including social media) will be used and more IEC materials for specialized markets will be produced and distributed to widen information reach. The preparation of investment briefs in any potential productive sector or for the proposed investment areas in the VSDF is also seen to facilitate the flow of investments, especially for the latter to build foundation in the medium-term as a springboard towards long-term development. Moreover, with the adequate economic infrastructure in place, the use of ICT-based technology such as a market information system will widen and increase access to production networks, to be adopted in the identified physical hubs for trade such as food terminals (see Chapter 7). 4. Promote industry-responsive human resource development The Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) and Technical Vocational Institutions (TVIs) should be more responsive to the skills needs of the industries in the region. This should be based on present and future demand. Strong coordination between the industry players and the education providers shall be institutionalized to ensure alignment of educational outcomes to job requirements. Expanding access to trainings and other means to improve competencies of labor such as through the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) shall be pursued (see Chapter 10). There should also be programs that will enable women in the labor force to participate and contribute more to this skills build-up. Considering that women comprise a sizeable portion of the labor force, their potentials as contributors to business and economic growth should be fully honed and tapped. 5. Increase access to and adoption of technology and facilities To ensure innovative and competitive products, more intensive efforts will be exerted in the availment and adoption of new technologies offered by various government agencies in the local industries. Provision of processing and cold storage facilities, as well as innovation through ICT, among others, should be
actively promoted. The academe, especially the research universities in the region, could help in the development and promotion of technologies that are responsive to present and future industry needs, particularly along manufacturing (see Chapter 15). 6. Strengthen resiliency of industries to risks It is appropriate that safety nets and risk protection be in place to mitigate the adverse impact of unforeseen events to the industries and MSMEs such as natural disasters. The industries will be encouraged to comply with standards in their operations and ensure that they engage themselves with appropriate risk insurance that will aid them to hasten recovery. 7. Promote green growth in the context of industrial development There is a need to continuously ensure ecological integrity as the region aims to increase and diversify its industries. The MSMES, for instance, will be encouraged to promote the efficient use of utilities (i.e. power, water), adopt environmentfriendly production processes, among others, which would subsequently lessen the impact of their operations to the environment. Industrial operations, especially in heavy industries, should be always undertaken within approved standards vis-à -vis effects on air and water quality, among other considerations. In particular to the mining industry, there is a need to protect the environment by stopping illegal mining activities and small-scale mining, and advocating for responsible mining, especially at the local level. Strict enforcement of the laws, coupled with strong support of the mining communities, will not only promote environmental sustainability but also ensure proper collection of fees, charges, and taxes from mining. Lobbying for the immediate passage of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order (EO) No. 79 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 is needed to regulate mining activities and maximize the benefits gained by the LGUs. Moreover, in support of responsible mining, there is a need to strengthen monitoring of mining companies in the implementation of their mine rehabilitation plans (see Chapter 18). In support of the realization of a green economy, which favors low carbon emission and efficient use of resources, green jobs across economic sectors shall be promoted. This is mandated by Republic Act No. 10771, otherwise known as the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016. Full implementation of the law should be undertaken (see Chapter 18).
Major Programs, Projects and Activities The following are the priority programs, projects and activities to concretize the strategies discussed above. An extensive and detailed list is provided in the Regional Development Investment Program (RDIP) 2017-2022, the other companion document of this RDP. 1. Manufacturing Resurgence Program 2. Formulation of industry/commodity roadmaps 3. Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade (ROLL IT) Program 4. Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone (LEIZ) Project 5. Project KAPATID 6. MSMED Program 7. Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project 8. SME Roving Academy (SMERA) Program 9. DOST-Academe Technology-based Enterprise Development (DATBED) Program 10. Comprehensive Agricultural Productivity Enhancement (CAPE) Program 11. Manufacturing Productivity Extension (MPEX) Program 12. Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (SETUP) Program- Innovation System Support 13. DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance 14. Mining Industry Development Program 15. Mineral Investment Promotion Program 16. Investment promotion activities, including marketing of existing economic zones 17. Revival of the EVRGC or preparation of a proposal for a similar PEZA-registered regional growth center 18. Revival of the Amihan Woodlands Township 19. Information dissemination on available training programs directed to potential women trainees 20. Monitoring of inter-regional domestic trade of matured coconuts by the RDC VIII technical working group as a mechanism to track smuggling 21. Rehabilitation/improvement/construction of roads, airports and seaports that will support industrial development (e.g. Tacloban Airport, Babatngon Port, etc.)
Legislative Agenda To support the identified strategies and PPAs, certain legislative actions are needed. These are as follows: 1. Passage of RDC resolutions that support the following: a. Passage of the National Land Use Act b. Formulation and implementation of a National Competition Policy c. Passage of an Ease of Doing Business Act 2. Support to liberalize the incentive regime by removing nationality and exportbiases 3. Issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Executive Order No. 79 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 4. Formulation of the LIIC in all LGUs 5. Formulation and/or updating of Comprehensive Land Use Plans 6. Enforcement of the Magna Carta of Women, especially provisions that recognize women’s rights, increase participation of women in economic activities, and empower the marginalized sector in particular 7. Strict enforcement of laws to ensure available supply of coconut as raw material for the coconut industry, viz: a. RA 10593 or the Coconut Preservation Act of 1995, especially provisions that prohibit the cutting of coconut trees except in some cases b. Laws against smuggling of matured coconuts (e.g. EO 1016, PD 930) 8. Enforcement of the revised Cabotage Law